A view to a kill
24th February 2015
We were fortunate to get a lift in the Argocat from the SNH stalkers who were out shooting in Coire Chrannaig. There’s a lot of deep snow around so I was delighted to accept the offer! Ross managed to bag one in the scrub birch as we made our way in. It really is impressive watching someone with proper skill and judgement carrying out their work. Ross had warned me that he may stop the Argocat at any time to shoot a beast. He was constantly scanning the scrub birch in search of deer….
Ross: ‘Did you see that group of 3 about 100m in the woods away on the left?’ Me: ‘Er, no…where??’
I just couldn’t see them as fast. By the time I’d spotted them, Ross was out of the Argocat and shouldering his rifle for a single successful shot. Ross either has a very well trained eye, or a spooky stalker’s sixth sense. Maybe both? Either way, I was mightily impressed.
The beasts are not in great ‘condition’ at the moment and quite lightweight. The persistent snowy weather for the past couple of months has take its toll on their body weight with the deer today weighing in at a modest 40 to 60kgs (larder-weight).
Got involved in a bit of dragging at this point. Between us we retrieved 3 beasts from about 75m away – mercifully only having to drag them downhill and over deep snow, so no big deal compared to my last experience of this strenuous activity.
Our reward for helping out with the dragging was a lift to the tree-line. The Argocat really struggled in the deep snow at this altitude and would have got little further.
Big build up of windslab above 600m & cornices too at this altitude, though not visible in the shot above. Coire Chrannaig is quite a good snow collecting bowl and the cover here is more or less continuous from 400m to summit level. Access, even on skis, is difficult and tiring because of the amount of snow. Scouring present on windward slopes too, of course.
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